Land Use And Land
Use Problems In
The Definition of Land Use
Land Capability Classification
Land Use in The World
Land Use Policies And Applications In Turkey
Main Determinants Of Land Use And Land Use
The Cost Of Land Degradation And The Economics
Land use is the human modification of
natural environment or wilderness into
built environment such as fields, pastures,
The significant effects of land use include
urban sprawl, soil erosion, soil degradation,
salinization, and desertification.
Lands are so important for the industry and
urbanization like for the agriculture
The land use which is very important for
sustainable development should be
activated with the policies, planning or
obligations by the states because of being
insufficient and not renewable source and
impossibility of accelerate of land formation
Today, there are 22 institutions which
apply planning, applications and controls
and also 24 laws about these subjects. So, it
causes an authority distribution problem.
However, the reconstruction laws about
shanty cause crooked urbanization and
then wrong land use.
The effects of land degeneration could not be
measured exactly, but it is estimated that
losses are huge amounts.
The wrong use of lands creates negative
effects on extant flora and animal along with
On the other hand, the decreasing output
lands have a huge cost to reacquire because of
The Land Use And Land Capability
The land use includes the type of activity on a certain area
that is available for physical, economic and social
conditions of any region and defined characteristics.
In order to efficient land use , experts improved several
methods for efficient planning.
Two of the most common the land usage methods which
applied international are “Land Capability Classification”
and “Land Evaluation Principles” which are determined by
The World Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
In our country, “Land Capability Classification” method is
Table 1. Land Capability Classification
In Land Capability Land Capability Class What they must be used for
Classification Method, lands
are classified into 8 category.
Class Lands Agricultural Production (best)
The first four category are Class Lands Agricultural Production (good-moderate)
considered as suitable areas Class Lands
Agricultural Production (moderate)
Agricultural Production (insufficient)
for agricultural production.
Other four category are not
suitable for agriculture and
must be used for
urbanization and for other 5. Class Lands Particular Class
Land in Class 5 is generally 6. and 7. Class Lands Forest, Pasture, Grassland, Brushwood
limited to the production of
perennial crops or other
8. Class Lands Urbanization, Industry, Tourism and
specially adapted crops. Other
Productivity of these suited
crops may be high.
The Land Structure of Turkey
Turkey is the 36th in earth wideness in the world
with 779,452 square meters area. But, if we look for
productivity, 35-40 % of Turkey’s area is the
mountains which are not economic. Although the
forest areas are about 30%, 2/3 of them are the
marquis, thickets etc.
30-35% of the lands in our country are available for
the agriculture but there has the erosion risk. The soil
areas which are watered are limited and they are
delta plains mostly.
In Turkey, because of the dry and half dry climate, a
lot of watering projects realized, but they were not
completed, the enough information was not given to
the farmers, and not enough measures.
As a result the productive lands started to become
barren. So, the barren lands increased. However,
Mesopotamia plain which has the wide flatness
opened to be watered with completing of Southeast
Anatolian Project (GAP); but, there is getting barren
and saltinization risks.
Table 2. Land Capability Qualification of Turkey
As it can see from the table, Land Capability Hectare %
Turkey’s total land quantity
1. Class Lands 5.012.537 6.5
is 26.546.585 ha in first four 2. Class Lands 6.758.702 8.8
class according to the land 3. Class Lands 7.574.330 9.7
4. Class Lands 7.201.016 9.5
This amount is 34,6 % of Total Agriculture 26.546.585 34.6
total lands Lands
5. Class Lands 165.547 0.2
6. Class Lands 10.238.533 13.3
Quantity of 5., 6. and 7. 7. Class Lands 36.288.553 47.4
class lands are 60,9% of
Total Forest, 46.692.633 60.09
total lands and 8. class Pasture and
lands are 3.455.513 ha, Grasslands
meanly 4,6 % of total lands. 8. Class Lands 3.455.514 4.6
Total Lands 76.694.731 100.0
Souce: Türkiye Ziraat Mühendisliği Teknik Kongresi,
Table 3. Current Land Use in Turkey
Land Class Dry Agriculture Watery Agriculture Gardens Nut-Olive Total
1 3.155.146 1.413.256 176.264 33.333 4.778.299
2 4.876.280 835.791 187.972 86.823 5.986.866
3 5.438.715 476.222 204.989 109.507 6.229.433
4 4.062.580 233.081 172.414 135.054 4.603.129
5 13.340 3.980 143 - 17.463
6 3.377.458 34.290 201.714 235.037 3.848.499
7 1.683.515 4.260 115.041 442.398 2.245.214
8 - - - - -
Error term 6.111.176 ha (%23) 27.708.903
Source: TEMA Erozyonla Mücadele Seminer Notları
In Table 3, it’s shown the existing usage figures
of the lands.
According to table 3, we see that it is made
agriculture in the areas which should not be
made agriculture according to the land usage
On this table, the most important point is that
the standard deviation is too high. And this
shows the difficulties to measure.
An Outlook of Land Use in the World
According to the
datas of UNCCD,
70 % of 5,2 billion
ha agriculture area
for fighting land
use corruptions in
a global scale, it is
required that 10-
22,4 billion dollars
of investment must
be done over 20
Kyoto Protocol that is on the agenda is very
important for sustainable development and shows
given importance by the world. The land use, land
use changing and forestry activities are put on
Kyoto Protocol in order to apply the carbon dioxide
discount emission contract of developed countries.
In this way, both planned and efficient land use and
decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide would be
Because land-use change, together with use of fossil
fuels, are the major anthropogenic sources of carbon
dioxide, a dominant greenhouse gas
Land Use Policies and Applications in
Today, there are lots of laws and institutions that
determine how lands will be used. For example in
1982 Constitution, in Environmental Law, in Law of
Agricultural Reform, in Law of Municipalities and
in Law of Reconstruction there are many provisions
about usage of lands.
In planning processes, some complications occur
about which rule will be applied and which
institution is the top authority.
Main Determinants of Land Use and Land
Use Problems in Turkey
Main determinants of land use are natural
structure, legal and institutional effects,
demography, economical situations and
Rapid increase in industrialization and
increase in population caused a requirement
of new housing places. Hence, this ended up
with unplanned and uncontrolled
urbanization process and land use in cities.
According to the end of 1987 registration of
Ministry of Industry and Trade, 62% of 17,999
hectare that appropriated for organized and
small industry is on the earths that available for
I-IV. class agriculture
This situation shows insensitivity of the
ministries to this subject. Because, the
importance of agriculture and land usage are not
taken into consideration by this acts.
Touristic areas have used planless and
improperly for attracting more tourist. Owners
of lands in these areas have been selling them to
earn more money for non-agricultural use.
At the same time there are some problems
originated from planning deficiencies. For
example, in Kuşadası-Davutlar 24 hectare land
has opened to tourism with license
On the other hand some public investments by
government have destroyed the productive lands.
Infrastructure, highways, railways, brick and
roofing-tile factory and such investments damage to
existing lands with high costs. At these investments,
more importance is given to cost and so, the land
structure is not concerned.
Brick and roofing-tile factories demolish more than
17.000.000 tones valuable alluvional lands and it is
very hard to regain them
Today, there are 22 institutions and foundation and
24 laws that enforce planning, implementation and
governance. Naturally, this creates an authority
problem and enables unplanned or wrong land use.
Although the planning and implementing power
deputed to municipalities, localization of planning
and implementations cannot be realized as technical
and financial deficiency.
On the other hand, attendances of people to
planning process take place by only elections and so
it is not provided to attendance of public to every
stage of planning.
The Cost Of Land Degradation And The
The cost of land degradation is quite high and to
calculate this cost, it is necessary to estimate the
primary situation of the land, existing conditions
and the potential returns in the future.
However, in Turkey, more importance is given to
short term returns rather than long term returns and
long term effect are not taken into consideration.
There are many factors that increase the cost of
regaining efficient lands such as destroyer effects to
flora and fauna, the decrease in the value of land
Today, agriculture areas are generally used for
housing, tourism, industry and infrastructure, but
guiding these areas differently will increase
efficiency. At the same time, wrong choices about
agriculture areas have decreasing agricultural
Complexity of authority and some reconstruction
laws channel people to irregular urbanization.
Especially in election periods, the increase in wrong
land use can be easily seen, and this situation causes
many uncontrolled housing problems which create
not only ecological problems but also environment
In our country, some regional plannings and
projects were done after 1980’s such as
Çukurova Project, GAP Project and ATAK
Project, but it is hard to say that they were
Especially in GAP region, lands have been
irrigating too much and this causes saltinization.
Its economical meaning is decreasing of
efficiency and investment will be turn into loss
in the long term.
Effects of land degradation do not harm only
agricultural area, at the same time this affects the
Most significant effects of land use include
urban sprawl, soil erosion, soil degradation,
saltinization and desertification. Land use
change is one of the sources of carbon dioxide
that is a dominant greenhouse gas.
All of these are the examples of externality,
because both government and the owners of
lands take into consideration only short term
returns of them; but this will affect not only
Turkey’s economy but also next generation.
In order to achieve an optimum efficiency level
in land use, direct, indirect and cumulative
effects must be calculated in the process of
Conclusion And Policy Implications
In recent times, the concept of “sustainable
development” has come into prominence so
much. However, in Turkey, it is concentrated
only economical and industrial development
and the importance of environment does not
set off. It is not thought that it will be faced
with high costly environmental problems in
As a result
Some arrangements must be realized with
continuity improvement framework to provide a
healthy environment for new generation.
Otherwise, buildings would increase on the areas
that should be made agriculture and use up
agriculture lands. That’s why; it must not be
thought the costs of the present time and so
planning, arrangements and auditing must be
realized to provide benefits in the future.